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The Cathouse, Glasgow
Friday 13th December 2013

Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid

johnny main


Let's be honest here, if you're into thrash metal and you're under twenty five, then the chances of you having heard of Xentix are small to say the least.

Back in 1992, I'd just discovered the band's new album, ''Kin' and was working my way through their back catalogue when the news came through – Xentrix had split up! "Ah well", I thought, that's a great band that I'll never get to see live! Fast Forward twenty one years, and I'm standing only feet away from the stage ready to experience the Xentrix live show – at last!

The anticipation is tangible as the crowd gathers stage front as the lights go down. The band are visible to the keenest eye, having a last minute conversation back stage before the intro music blasts out. One by one the band walk onstage to thunderous applause and the biggest cheer was reserved for last man on, main man Chris Astley.

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'Black Embrace' kicks the band off in fine style and for a brief moment, we're all transported back to the late eighties/early nineties. The soundman takes some time to get Astley's vocals sorted out, but in the meantime there's no let up for the band as they bludgeon the audience with their huge sound in this relatively small venue.

Lead guitarist Kristian Havard is just excellent from beginning to end while bass player, Chris Shires, headbangs away like a demon. Havard beckons the crowd to get involved during 'Balance Of Power', but they don't need any encouragement. Likewise drummer, Dennis Gasser, pounds the drums so hard that the vibration goes right through you – tremendous stuff.


'Questions' has the first pit of the night going as Astley throws out the guitar riffs before explaining with glee that 'Reasons For Destruction' was written about "some crazy people doing crazy shit!" The band seem to be genuinely bowled over by the reaction of the crowd which by this time has filled out even more. Astley mentions that 'Another Day' from the ''Kin' album hasn't dated at all and the audience treat it like a long lost friend. I can imagine a few extra copies of this album were sold over the course of this tour.

Harking back to the early nineties, Astley asks who remembers MTV's flagship Metal show, 'Headbangers Ball', which gets an indifferent response – maybe less people had MTV back in the day, but the band power on with 'For Whose Advantage?' which is one of the songs for which the band actually made an official promo video for.


As happens at The Cathouse, the nightclub opens at 11:00pm so being pushed for time, the band power through 'Crimes' which once again has the mosh pit going full pelt while those at the back head bang in a slightly more sedate manner. It wouldn't really be a Xentrix show without them playing 'Ghostbusters', which segues into 'Dark Enemy' before finishing their set with 'No Compromise'.

Xentrix were, to be fair, a band who didn't have a proper shot at it and they have managed to keep their fan base over the years too – a fan base who are still more than happy to come out and support them. With the recent announcement of an Overkill support tour in March 2014, it looks like I'll not be the only one who'll be back down the front to see these guys.


Set List:
Black Embrace
Balance of Power
Reasons for Destruction
Another Day
Shadows of Doubt
Back in the Real World
The Human Condition
Come Tomorrow
For Whose Advantage?
Ghostbusters/Dark Enemy
No Compromise


You can see Xentrix supporting Overkill here:
Thursday 13th March - Islington Academy, London
Saturday 15th March - The Academy, Dublin
Sunday 16th March – The Cathouse, Glasgow
Monday 17th March - Sound Control, Manchester

Xentrix are:
Chris Astley – Guitar/Vocals
Kristian Havard - Guitars
Chris Shires – Bass Guitar
Dennis Gasser – Drums


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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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